1946 to 1963
10 cm in diameter
$150 for the trio
Signed underneath A.M Boyd
These ramekins were mass produced by Martin Boyd Potteries from 1946 to 1963. Signed underneath are the initials for Arthur Merric Boyd (AMB) which symbolises the pottery company Arthur Boyd’s grandson Arthur, John Perceval and Peter Herbst set up at Murrumbeena in 1944. The pair of ramekins illustrated at the head of this entry were made at this pottery and hand painted by John Perceval. Arthur left Australia for England in 1958 and went on to become one of Australia’s most significant painters, but pieces with various AMB marks continued to be made until 1962.
The varied colour combinations and lack of decoration of Boyd pottery set these bowls apart from the fine porcelain dinnerware with intricate designs typical of formal dinner sets of mid 20th century Australia. Handles made the Boyd ramekins appropriate for use at the kitchen table, in front of the television or outdoors, while their colour, design and good quality finish distinguished them from other mass produced crockery suitable for informal meals.
Set up by sculptor Guy Boyd (1923-1988, cousin of architect Robin Boyd) with Norma Flegg and others in Sydney around 1946-1948, the Martin Boyd Pottery (named after Guy’s uncle, novelist Martin Boyd) produced functional, plain coloured and hand-painted earthenware wares, including coffee sets and boxed ramekins.
The designs were suitable for casual lifestyles being adopted by Sydney and Melbourne modernists, and affordable prices made Martin Boyd wares popular with post-war homemakers.
Today Boyd ramekins are popular collectables, possibly due to their mix of Bauhaus-inspired simplicity combined with bright and unusual colour combinations.
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